Much Ado About Pretenders

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Verno, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. Verno

    Verno Beast Wars Collector

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    I'm interested in seeing these characters brought into the 21st century. The question is: How?

    In all honesty, I can't see Hasbro producing non-transforming components, IE shells. But I think a clue about how they could approach it lies in the current Titans Return Titan Masters.

    The Headmaster transforms from Head to Robot, and comes with an accessory of its own -- a vehicle or beast. Said vehicle or beast transforms into a weapon, but can also combine with the Headmaster to create a larger vehicle or beast. It's a marvel of engineering.

    Take the example of Clobber: Grimlock's head combines with a dragon to form a little T-Rex. When the (presumably) eventual larger Grimlock body is released for this head to call home, you've essentially got a toy that's doubling-down on the T-Rex mode as both the larger toy and smaller components transform into dinosaurs.

    Now, apply a similar kind of thinking to characters like the Pretender Beasts: A robot transforms into a beast which hides inside a larger version of the same beast. Catilla, for example, is a saber-tooth tiger inside a saber-tooth tiger. You're doubling-down on the same kind of beast.

    The wonderful thing about the Pretender Beasts is that the originals came with accessories -- helmets and blasters that plugged into the shell. What if Hasbro took a character like Catilla, made it an organic saber-tooth tiger which had accessories plugged into it (like the original shell), that could transform into a robot and said accessories could combine and transform into a smaller saber-tooth tiger.

    This does away with the potentially troublesome shells altogether.

    Am I making sense?
     
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  2. bellpeppers

    bellpeppers A Meat Popsicle

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    Don't judge.
     
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  3. bellpeppers

    bellpeppers A Meat Popsicle

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    I was never into pretenders back in the day.
    If HASBRO wanted they could produce some excellent, articulated shells with pretty good figures.
    This I have no doubt.

    However, how would they market them?

    Voyagers? 2 packs? And at what price points that today's retailers would get on board with?
     
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  4. Verno

    Verno Beast Wars Collector

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    Up next, Earth Angel, featuring Calvin Klein on rhythm guitar.
     
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  5. Verno

    Verno Beast Wars Collector

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    Would the shells do anything though? That's the bit I was trying to remove.

    Updates Pretenders beasts would be normal deluxe figures. You could sell their accessories in separate Titan Master-like packs, and this could be the inter-play-ability of the line as a whole. Essentially, you can swap what are basically Targetmasters with other figures.
     
  6. SG Roadbuster

    SG Roadbuster SG Wrecker

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    i'm thinking the answer lies with the rid minicon battlepacks. for standard pretenders you take a legends class core that looks like the original. with armour bits based on the shell (ixnay the minicon in favor of more armour and some friggin paint)

    voyagers based on the mega pretenders would have the same core bot, but a (mostly hollow and simple) transforming shell they can be stuffed inside.

    Leader class would the ultra pretenders. same idea as the voyagers, but with an additional vehicle shell (with a base mode)

    another idea i've heard bandied about to make them TitanMasters (based on the core body), then release a line of GiJoe figures with backpack slots big enough to stick them into. (based on the shells)
     
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  7. Verno

    Verno Beast Wars Collector

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    And the armor bits combine together to form a bot/weapon/vehicle of their own? I think we're basically on the same page :) 
     
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  8. Dinobot Snarl

    Dinobot Snarl Well-Known Member

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    im up for that;) 
     
  9. bellpeppers

    bellpeppers A Meat Popsicle

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    If it was articulated it could be posed and be a partner with the figure that it held within.
     
  10. GoldbugTM2

    GoldbugTM2 Right Hand Of Primus

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    I've never understood why Pretenders garner nearly as much disdain as Action Masters. Yes, some of the figures were meh, but bear in mind the line gave us the best Bumblebee figure in the original G1 run. So much so that shortly thereafter they re-released that Bumblebee figure on its own without the Pretender shell!
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Macross7

    Macross7 Well-Known Member

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    I could stand MAYBE 1-2 Pretenders per faction. Just as a 'try to do it today' experiment. I do not want an entire year devoted to the gimmick. Never liked Pretenders. Easily the worst gimmick in G1. Action Masters were WAY better. They didn't even make much sense to exist in the comics. I think the ONLY time being a Pretender was useful was Underbase Starscream couldn't blow them up easily.

    Toys rather sucked with the shells having only movable arms and the robots inside had some of the laziest transformations ever. Flip legs over head...uh....he's a.....car?

    The Classics were better but still crappy shells. When Hasbro did the 2nd year and shrunk them down, they didn't suck as much.

    For a modern one, have the robot inside do a transformation that could pass being sold as a basic figure. AKA: realistic car or jet. Then have the shell be big enough that the alt mode bot fits into the body so it can have fully jointed legs, arms & head. Maybe have a slot open on the back to slide it in instead of having the whole body split down the middle.
     
  12. ssjkazer

    ssjkazer mr dyslexia

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    isnt this like the 8th tread on it....

    anyways as ive said before big robot small little buddy, the headmaster line is a perfect fit for these characters to be honest, because lets face it there not just obscure characters they have next to 0 media backing outside japan and a few comics.

    i think the idea of shells in this day in age is nice but if it was going to be done it should of been done 5 years ago before they started geting super cheap on alot of things
     
  13. Fenrir Zero

    Fenrir Zero Ghost; NOT a Wall or a Villain

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    Seeing how Hasbro is trying to include past Takara exclusive characters into their current fiction (i.e. Metalhawk and Overlord)... And the first stage of the Pretender system is used by the crew of the Lost Light... The only answer lies with how Takara handled their Cybertron Pretenders in 1988.

    And also... You have to remember that any decisions made for all updates for the Pretender line must also be agreed upon by TakaraTomy. So they cannot simply "do away" with the shells since for the 1988 JG1 Pretenders, this was an additional Transformation sequence. And the 1989 Dinoforce were not Pretenders, but had theirs be drones when they are not using them. And this could be used for the Decepticon side.


     
  14. Verno

    Verno Beast Wars Collector

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    [​IMG]

    Yeah, some things can be left in the past...

    Headmasters and Targetmasters for sure.
     
  15. bellpeppers

    bellpeppers A Meat Popsicle

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    Yeah, well, at least Pretenders transformed.

    Action Masters... weren't. And that's when the toy line died.
     
  16. Fenrir Zero

    Fenrir Zero Ghost; NOT a Wall or a Villain

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    And yet... TakaraTomy would have him become an official Japanese Generation One character in Pretenders Gaiden.

    In the United States, yeah. The main line in Japan ended in 1991 with 'The Return of Convoy'. Granted, 1992 had 'Operation Combination'. But that was nothing more than a "stand alone" series.
     
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  17. Murasame

    Murasame CHIMICHANGAS

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    Only way Pretenders are interesting is like they made Generations Thunderwing by combining both into one. I don't see anything appealing in Pretenders. Only reason I had Pretender Starscream was, because I wanted to have a Starscream.
     
  18. ssjkazer

    ssjkazer mr dyslexia

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    well i still think they would make great headmasters lol
     
  19. Darkstone

    Darkstone Code of Hero

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    Pretenders fascinate me, so I would like to see them return. And with today’s advancements in the toy making process, there’s no doubt Hastak could make a transforming robot with an articulated shell. The easiest way would be to have the shell wrap around the robot mode (or beast mode like you said) so you can use all of its articulation points by having small gaps in the shell. If they want to go down that route they could even hide these gaps with flexible plastic. It would hinder articulation a little bit but not make it impossible.

    That being said, I think figures like these would be way out of Hasbro’s comfort zone as far as budget is concerned. They basically need to sculpt and paint two figures.

    But: If they do make Pretenders with mostly static shells but add swivels for the arms, legs and head so that it moves like old-school Kenner figures I would be okay with that too, as long as an updated robot is underneath the shell of course.

    Then there’s the way they kept doing updated Pretender in the past, by mixing features of the shell into the robot. I don’t think that’s terrible either.

    I just like the Pretender gimmick so much that I wouldn’t be opposed to any way that would bring them back. Hell, straight up reissues wouldn’t be bad either. These characters are just so weird and interesting looking in their shells while keeping the transforming robot gimmick intact, I love it.
     
  20. Sigmalock

    Sigmalock Decepticon

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    Was never real big on the majority of Pretenders either, but I'll ALWAYS have a soft spot for the Pretender Monsters and, of course, Monstructor :buttrock 
     

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